Petition Closed

August 14, 2013

Greetings,

By popular demand, this petition has opened again. Many thanks to the original 650+ signees. Thank you all very much for your time and interest in Rodney K. Stanberry’s case.  Justice is Never Served When the Wrong Person is Convicted.

 

 

The petition letter below is about the case of Rodney K. Stanberry. Rodney was arrested in 1992, convicted in 1995, and began serving a prison sentence in 1997 for crimes he did not commit.  He has had two parole hearings; he was denied parole each time.  His next parole date is scheduled to take place on August 28th, 2013. He, too, faces the prison dilemma of the wrongfully convicted, meaning that an innocent man has to consider saying he is guilty just to have a chance at freedom. The New York Times had a powerful report about the innocent prisoner's dilemma: NYTIMES

 

Rodney was convicted solely based on victim eyewitness testimony. He was convicted even as another individual confessed in front of the prosecutor two years before the start of Rodney's trial that he, not Rodney, was at the victim's home when she was shot (the jury NEVER heard this confession), even as work documents and the testimony of his supervisor and co-workers placed him at work when the crimes were committed, and even as there was no physical evidence that placed him at the scene of the crime. Rodney also passed a polygraph test. He did everything a law abiding citizen should do in helping law enforcement and in turn, they arrested and accused him of committing what was a violent crime. {

His one mistake was when he found out that weapons had been stolen from the victim’s home, he took it upon himself to retrieve those guns and return them to their rightful owner. He did not know that a burglary AND a shooting had occurred. Even so, he fully cooperated with law enforcement, providing them with information, including the name of a detective in New York, to capture the people he knew to be involved. His mistake in trying to return weapons that he tried to prevent from falling into the wrong hands in the first place is overcome by the evidence and testimony that he was not at the victim’s house when the crimes occurred (see http://freerodneystanberry.com/blog/2013/08/06/can-a-person-be-two-places-at-once-the-wrongful-conviction-of-rodney-k-stanberry-2/ ). The prosecutor’s office and law enforcement, however, made mistakes that resulted in two people actually at the victim’s house when she was shot (the shooter and his accomplice-who confessed) and the person they claimed was the shooter to neither be arrested nor prosecuted for these crimes. The prosecutor’s office didn’t even attempt to prosecute the person they said was the shooter. Once Rodney was convicted on eyewitness misidentification, the prosecutor’s office moved on. If it weren’t for the diligence of Rodney’s family, he would just be another unnamed innocent person in prison.  While parole isn’t exoneration, it is a step towards justice while exoneration is sought.]

You can watch a tv report about his case here.

He is innocent, however, the parole board does not entertain claims of innocence. During Rodney’s last two parole board hearings in 2004 and 2009 (after he’d served 7 and 12 years, respectively,) he had everything a parole board would look for: family support, sponsors, jobs lined up, his former supervisor speaking before the parole board, a letter from the arresting officer in support of his parole, a petition from his former coworkers and businessmen in support of his release and so on. Rodney did not have a criminal record before incarceration, and he was employed at BFI Waste Systems from 1989 until he began his sentence in 1997- his former supervisor, who spoke at the 2009 parole hearing called him a model employee and his coworkers signed a petition requesting that he be granted parole. In 2009, he also had certificates for programs he completed as an inmate. He also had letters, emails, and calls of support from Alabama and around the country. As Rodney’s third parole hearing approaches, we are asking that you sign the petition below in support of his being granted parole.  Thank You and Peace.

For more information about Rodney's case, go to www.freerodneystanberry.com

In addition, here are the links to the articles referenced in the petition letter:

http://www.bostonreview.net/us/who-shot-valerie-finley 

(the latest investigative report about Rodney's case- 2013)

 http://freerodneystanberry.com/blog/2013/02/20/gun-control-what-happened-when-a-gun-enthusiast-tried-to-stop-the-sale-of-weapons-the-case-of-rodney-k-stanberry/)

Mobile Publication calls for an Innocence Project in Alabama  (includes Rodney's case as one that should be reviewed,http://classic.lagniappemobile.com/article.asp?articleID=5978 -2013)

“Time Served, Or Justice Denied in Alabama” http://classic.lagniappemobile.com/article.asp?articleID=2332 (investigative report about Rodney's case)

Website for the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles: http://www.pardons.state.al.us/ALABPP/Main/Central%20Office%20montgomery.html

 Peace,

Artemesia

artemesia@freerodneystanberry.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Letter to
Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles Members of the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles
Mobile County District Attorney's Office Mobile District Attorney Ashley Rich
Chief Investigator, Mobile District Attorney's Office Mike Morgan
Please Grant Parole to Rodney K. Stanberry

July 2013

Dear Members of the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles:



We, the undersigned, respectfully request that Rodney K. Stanberry (192084) is granted parole when he comes before you this year. We understand that the role of the parole board is not to entertain claims of innocence, but an inmate being innocent is detrimental to his being granted parole because his refusal to admit to guilt for crimes not committed is interpreted as a lack of remorse and/or an inability to be rehabilitated. In Rodney K. Stanberry’s case, he is very sorry about what happened to the victim and has much sympathy for her family, as this is a very painful ordeal that should not be taken lightly. But he is not guilty so he is perceived to not be remorseful. In this article published in the Boston Review, subtitled “Why One Man’s Innocence Is So Hard to Prove”, you will get a deeper understanding of his case (http://www.bostonreview.net/us/who-shot-valerie-finley). A hard copy of this article will be provided to you.



Also, know that Rodney, who did not have a criminal record and who was gainfully employed, went to the police after the crimes took place, without being asked and without being a suspect, the very next day to share with them all of the information he knew to help detain the people he believed to have been involved. Further, as you can read in the attached blog http://freerodneystanberry.com/blog/2013/02/20/gun-control-what-happened-when-a-gun-enthusiast-tried-to-stop-the-sale-of-weapons-the-case-of-rodney-k-stanberry/), Rodney tried to prevent guns falling into the wrong hands. If his words were heeded, the vicious crime may never have occurred.

A local paper in Mobile, Alabama where these crimes occurred has called for an Innocence Project in Alabama and stated that Rodney’s case should be included among those investigated (http://classic.lagniappemobile.com/article.asp?articleID=5978). This same paper carried an investigative report about Rodney’s case (“Time Served, Or Justice Denied in Alabama” http://classic.lagniappemobile.com/article.asp?articleID=2332.). There isn’t an Innocence Project in Alabama, but you all on the parole board can look more closely at his case, his prison record, the support system and job opportunities he has available to him and make a decision that justice for the victim, society and the wrongfully convicted is not served by keeping an innocent man in prison. Rodney was employed with the same company from 1989 until he began his prison sentence in 1997. This shows the level of his character as his supervisor and co-workers remained by his side through his arrest, conviction, and prison sentence. His former supervisor stood before you during Rodney’s previous parole hearing again vouching for his character, his work ethic, and his firm belief that Rodney is innocent, based on evidence showing that he was at work when the crimes were committed, along with other evidence pointing to Rodney's innocence, including a confession by another individual that exonerated Rodney.



We fully respect the job you have and the fact that you have to review many cases each day. But we ask you, how many cases do you review with an individual coming before you maintaining his innocence? The guilty will come before you not pleading innocence, but saying that they are guilty, remorseful and will not commit another crime. The innocent, for the most part, will not do this for they did not commit the crime for which they are accused. We ask that you to grant Rodney K. Stanberry (192084) parole when his case comes before you this year.



Sincerely,